Do you have a Facebook Exit Strategy?

Remember when AOL was ruling the world as the undisputed online champ? Me too. The number of subscribers they had was just too great for them to fail. That is being said about Facebook today. How long before Facebook’s mounting Privacy missteps or some disrupting technology knocks them off. Look at this chart from Google insights which shows the growing number of searches for the exact term “how do I delete my Facebook account”

Google explains the numbers: The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100. Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100. When we don’t have enough data, 0 is shown. The numbers next to the search terms above the graph are summaries, or totals.

Successful technology always spawns imitators. When the imitators are pumped up by a social cause (no pun intended) one has to take heed. Witness Diaspora, a privacy focused social networking project funded by Kickstarter and being built by 4 college students this summer.

What does this mean for social media marketers?

At the moment not much. But the lesson from AOL continues to become more relevant as we look at Facebook. We should continue to invest in the spaces that are working today with a keen eye on where things are moving.

Actions to take?

  • Continue to work with your Facebook communities
  • Introduce your Facebook communities to other ways to interact with your company
  • Keep an  eye on emerging technologies and communities
  • Invest resources  in the “old” social media like forums, product reviews, and blogging

As in most investments diversity is key, especially if you can easily see the trends.

From the user standpoint Webpro news asked the question Is deleting your Facebook account a good idea? They also note that Matt Cutts and other Googlers de-activated their accounts soon after the Open Graph initiative was announced. Remember, you don’t have to delete the account to de-activate it.

Also see my article on Social Media, It’s not Just Facebook

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